Free entrance to all state parks scheduled for Thursday

OLYMPIA — In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is offering free entrance to state parks on Thursday, Aug. 25 — the 100th anniversary of the federal agency. Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks.

“This is a very special year for the National Park System, as it celebrates its 100th anniversary,” said Don Hoch, Director of Washington State Parks. “We want to acknowledge and honor this milestone.  Washington State Parks and the National Park Service share common goals — to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources and to provide public access to these special lands for generations to come.”

The National Park Service was established on Aug. 25, 1916. More information about the National Park Service’s Centennial, visit:

State Parks ‘free days’ are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and  Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 ‘free days’ each year when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by WDFW and DNR on these days.

Free days apply only to day-use visits with vehicles, not overnight stays or rented facilities.

Washington State Parks is offering two more ‘free days’ in 2016: Sept. 24, in recognition of National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11, in honor of Veterans Day.

– Wash. State Parks and Recreation Commission